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Longhorns hold off Rebels

Marengo Academy (8-3) took an early lead and held on late to defeat Lowndes Academy 12-9 Thursday.

“We came out swinging the bats well,” Marengo Academy head coach Jonathan Lindsey said. “One through nine (hitters) swung it well.”

Lowndes opened the scoring in the contest, posting one run in the first inning before the Longhorns retaliated with four in the home half of the frame.

“We got to where we were playing in kind of a lull,” Lindsey said of his team heading into the game. “I challenged them to play with intensity and play for a full seven innings and they did.”

Marengo added five runs in the fourth inning to stretch the lead to 9-2. In the top of the fifth, the Rebels rallied back, hanging five runs on the board.

“We’ve got a great team,” Lowndes head coach Chad Anderson said of his team. “These guys have really bought into the system. I’ve got great senior leadership.”

Nursing a two-run lead, Marengo pitcher Matt Wallace kept the Rebels scoreless in the sixth before his squad stretched the lead to 12-7 again in the bottom half of the inning.

“Matt Wallace came in and did a great job,” Lindsey said of the Longhorn reliever.

Lowndes made its last charge in the top of the seventh when Michael Davis blasted a two-run home run to cut the score to 12-9.

Wallace dug in and stranded Lowndes runner Anderson Casey at third base to end the game.

“I’m looking forward to playing Marengo again,” Anderson said of his team’s upcoming games with the defending Class AA state champion.

“We always have something to improve on,” Lindsey said. “We’ve got to improve in all aspects of the game.”

Kyle Schroeder went 3-for-3 for Marengo with a home run and a double. Chris Whitaker went 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Wood Collins went 3-for-3 with three runs, a double and two RBIs. Clayton Crocker went 2-for-2 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Trevor Johnson went 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI. Beau Digmon went 1-for-1 with a run scored. Wallace scored a run.

Trace Stenz started the game on the mound for the Longhorns.

“Trace didn’t have his best stuff today,” Lindsey said. “But he was able to compete and get outs.”

Stenz pitched four innings and recorded one strikeout while Wallace pitched the final three and fanned one batter.